Next stop on the commercial horizon for Manchester United?
America the beautiful.
Following yesterday’s announcement of the club’s 13.4% rise in overall revenue to $584 million (£363.2m) for the year to June 30, 2013, United expect to generate annual revenue in excess of $675 million (£420m) by this time next year.
And a significant portion of that revenue could come from commercial ventures in the United States.
“The US market is under penetrated,” United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward said. “It is a very big media market, the most developed sports market in the world.
“But we don’t want to deals that are quick and wrong, that tie us up and we regret afterwards.
“We believe there has been an inflection point from 2010-11 when interest levels in football have increased.
“In the last three years the number of people watching Manchester United has gone up by between 30 and 35 per cent each year.” Woodward also mentioned United’s belief that in the United States, soccer is “moving away from being a niche sport and into the territory of competing with some of the top sports in the country.”
United has already accessed the US market through a variety of ventures, including their most recent shirt deal with car manufacturer Chevrolet, set to launch next season. How else the Premier League giants plan entrance remains to be seen but United’s massive commercial arm will soon boast an office in New York and now represents 42 per cent of total revenue.